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Good practice case studies

Continuous Professional Development: EDF Accelerate

Programme Background

Following the COVID pandemic, EDF identified a gap in their leadership development offerings. EDF programs were great for individuals transitioning between levels, but they felt they lacked an ongoing development offering for in-role leaders, who need to maintain that competitive edge, without attending a full leadership program.

Working in a time-pressured, emotionally stressful environment, EDF leaders needed to adopt a mix of attributes.  At the time they identified these as being able to make rapid, sometimes difficult decisions in an uncertain environment whilst adopting a human centric, values driven, inclusive leadership style that encourages collaboration, engagement and empathy.​ As EDF business evolved with significant changes, their leaders had to adapt to a constantly shifting environment.

In summary, EDF needed to equip their leaders with the right skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving business landscape effectively.

Programme Overview

EDF in the UK created and launched its Accelerate Programme, offering a comprehensive and dynamic approach to leadership development, focused around delivering masterclasses on a variety of critical topics, essential for contemporary leadership, for example:

  • Change and Transformation: Learn how to effectively manage and lead through periods of change.
  • Stakeholder Management: Develop strategies for engaging and managing key stakeholders.
  • Psychological Safety and Thriving in the Workplace: Foster a workplace environment where team members feel safe, welcome, included and can thrive.
  • Remote and Hybrid Teams: Gain insights into leading teams effectively in remote and hybrid work settings.
  • Talent & Coaching: Enhance your skills in talent development and coaching.
  • Courageous Conversations: Build confidence and techniques for having difficult but necessary conversations.
  • AI & Innovation: Explore the impact of artificial intelligence and innovation on leadership and business processes.
  • Helping Britain Achieve Net Zero: Contribute to Britain’s goal of achieving net zero emissions through effective leadership and innovative practices.

Target Audience. The programme is aimed at over 4,050 EDF leaders, providing ample opportunities for professional growth and development. Accelerate engages over 200 leaders each month, making it the only company-wide leadership development offering that reaches such a significant number of leaders, project managers, and aspiring leaders this frequently.

Programme Design. At the start of each year, EDF team would meet with senior leaders from across EDF to understand the needs of their unit and their people. EDF employee networks also play a huge role in shaping EDF Accelerate, ensuring inclusivity is at the heart of their offering. Utilising these conversations and the data they gather from previous programmes they combine them to create a theme and topic list for the coming year.

What did EDF learn after the first year of Accelerate?

Use of technology
Leveraging tools and technology can provide a massive benefit, not only through saving time in organising and logistics but to the learner experience. The first Accelerate was very labour intensive with manual processes & sign-ups. The transfer of Accelerate into MyLearningHub allowed EDF to automate significantly, and build a programme where leaders have a choice in their own development. Users can enrol in any masterclasses that suit their individual needs, customising their leadership development program experience.

Widening the audience
Feedback from EDF business units gave EDF team insight in groups of individuals who are indirectly leading people every day and they expanded the programme to include these. They extended their target group to reach project managers and employees aspiring to become a leader at EDF.

Utilise internal leadership expertise
Bringing in external expertise is great but don’t forget the impact of utilising knowledge, skills and experience from our own internal senior leaders. These sessions proved to be the most popular in the first year and it is something that has been kept in ever since. The ability to take any new approaches, methods and skills and then hear how these are being implemented at EDF delivered very powerful engagement.


EDF measure the success of their Accelerate Programme with two key indicators – Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS). Overall results deliver 85% Satisfaction and +55 NPS. In addition, verbatim feedback from participants has really confirmed the need for tailored, bite-sized and customized, leadership development.   

EDF have also created an Alumni community for the Accelerate Programme, and that has opened new avenues for deeper engagement with their dedicated audience. This community gives them valuable feedback on past sessions and helps them understand participant’s interests for future sessions – they’re now able to continuously (and fast!) enhance participants’ experience and better meet their developmental needs. These ongoing conversations help EDF evolve Accelerate to provide even greater value and relevance for their leaders.

The integration of internal senior leaders’ knowledge and expertise has proven invaluable, with sessions led by them being consistently popular and impactful. The blend of external and internal insights ensures that EDF leaders are equipped with the latest approaches and can see practical applications within EDF, driving both personal and organisational growth.

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